7 Spooky Horror Podcasts to Listen to with the Lights On
by Camryn Flowers
Hey readers, we’ve got a fun fall treat for you! This October, check out the CamCat blog to find a new post up each week. This is the second of four blog posts this month that will include a different giveaway for fun-filled books to curl up to this fall season. At the end of the month, one lucky winner will be pulled from those who entered any of the giveaways over the course of the month to win a stack of spooky new releases.This week, we’re giving away one copy of The Woodkin by Alexander James. Enter at the link below. Must be 18 years or older to enter and live in the continental U.S. Good luck!
This week marks the start of a new blog mini-series. Instead of sharing a generic list of podcasts with descriptions you can simply google, we sought to try something different. Each “episode” will share a list of our favorite fiction podcasts themed around a specific genre. With the start of the spooky season, we thought it’d be fitting to start with the horror genre. So to kick off the series with a bang, here is episode one of: The Podcast Tales.
Disclaimer: These are purely fictional characterizations of these podcasts and should not be taken as literal representations.
The first thing Whit noticed when his taxi passed by the rusted iron gates to the manor was how old it looked. He noticed the oil lamps lining the gravel driveway, their flames flickering dimly in the dark. In the distance, Whit made out the shapes of hedge sculptures, their forms illuminated by disk lights at the base.
As the car came to a stop, Whit noticed how moss and vines had begun taking over the western half of the manor. He climbed out, dragging his duffel bag with him. Before he could get sucked into the beauty of the seemingly decrepit manor, the taxi driver coughed loudly. Whit muttered his apologies and a, “keep the change” as he handed the driver two twenties and shut the door.
The taxi driver took off immediately, slinging gravel behind him as he drifted around the circle drive and down the long stretch back to the county road.
Whit stepped up to the door, reaching for the lion head knocker as the door opened before him.
“Ah, you must be Whit. Please, come in,” said a man who looked as if he started his days neatly put together and by the end became a disheveled mess. He had a mop of curly dark brown hair and was dressed in worn slacks, a white button-down shirt, and a dark green sweater vest. He held a coffee mug in his hand that sported a neon green eye.
Whit shuffled past the man, noticing briefly that the slacks shifted into a high waisted skirt, then jeans, and back to slacks. He glanced up at the man’s face, noticing a similar shift in features. There were too many faces, too many people to keep track of, and with a shudder, the shifting stilled like the focusing of a lens. An elderly woman with white hair pulled into a neat bun offered a smile.
“My apologies. When you have as many voices as I do, it’s occasionally difficult to keep them all straight. My name is The Magnus Archives, but you can call each of us Magnus for short. Welcome to the Manor. It used to have a much longer and more reputable name but we’ve all forgotten it.
“And you are Whit. The White Vault, if I recall correctly. As an archivist, I take it upon myself to research everything and everyone, but I find that letting people introduce themselves allows me to better understand them. However, it’s rude of me to ask that of you without first doing it myself.” They shut the door behind them and began walking.
Whit adjusted the duffel bag over his shoulder and followed.
“The Magnus Archives is an anthology podcast examining, well, the archives of the Magnus Institute. The lead archivist, Jonathan, is tasked with bringing up to date a collection of statements on the supernatural and investigating them further. He has a team of people—those of us confined to this form—whohelp Jonathan research.”
Magnus handed Whit what looked like a library check-out card that he stopped to look at. It had a list of the streaming services that The Magnus Archives was available to listen on, which included: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and their website.
“And yourself?” Magnus asked.
“Right, uh, well you already know my title so I guess I’ll just dive into what it’s about. The White Vault is a found-footage style podcast that follows a repair team sent to an outpost in Svalbard after it went radio-silent. But they’re unable to leave as a blizzard locks them in. There are a couple spin-offs and I don’t exactly have a card to give you for the listening details but it’s available on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and their website,” replied Whit, who made a show of patting himself down in a feigned attempt at looking for a business card or something similar.
“Ah yes, you’re a multi-award winner, just like me. Your audio composition is incredible. Now, let’s introduce you to the others. They are waiting in the library.”
Magnus led him to a grand library that had bookshelves extending up and away from him as far as he could see, which seemed physically impossible, but then again, this was a manor filled with personified podcasts, so who was he to judge? The space was illuminated by large chandeliers with flickering candles. The windows were stained glass, depicting various monsters in vibrant colors.
They approached a pair playing cards. “Lee, Archie, this is Whit, better known as The White Vault. Why don’t you introduce yourselves?” Magnus said, stepping aside.
“Fine. I’m Archive 81, a found-footage style podcast following an audio-archivist who is cataloging and digitizing tapes left by a social worker in the 90s. I can’t really say much else without spoiling but there are three seasons to listen to and also a TV show. But if you like shows like Twin Peaks and The X-Files, you’re likely to enjoy Archive 81. Here, have a card.” Archie pulled out a worn leather wallet and handed Whit a card.
“Uh, thanks.” Whit looked up at Lee, who had been repeatedly shuffling cards with trembling hands.
“No problem. And don’t mind Lee. She doesn't talk much,” Archie said, taking the cards. “Full name is Limetown. Another scripted fiction podcast, like you and me. It’s about an investigative journalist trying to figure out what happened to a town of 300 that suddenly disappeared. Limetown is popular among fans of Serial, a mystery podcast, and The X-Files. It’s available on the major podcast streaming services: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and their website. Hell, there’s even a TV show and a prequel book.” Archie gave a small smile that did not reach his eyes and began dealing the cards between himself and Lee, clearly ending the conversation.
Magnus nodded sharply and turned on their heel; as they did so, Magnus’s form shifted again and Whit was once more greeted with the man at the front door.
They approached a round table seating three. The first was reading a book with a scratched out title and author. The second was staring at the Missing Person’s column of a local newspaper, and the third was painting a group of women.
“Myra, Liz, Spencer, this is Whit. I’m introducing him to everyone before I get him settled in. Would you mind giving a short description of yourselves?” Magnus asked, sipping from his mug.
The one reading looked up first. “Sure, Magnus, whatever you need. Not as if we can do much else in this boring old manor,” she snorted, pulling her book back up and obnoxiously flipping the pages as if she were reading a magazine instead of a worn paperback novel.
“Be nice, Liz. Are you trying to make a bad first impression?” the painter chastised, pushing up their glasses as they looked up. “Hi Whit, I’m Myra. Full name is Mirrors. It’s about three women in three different centuries being haunted by the same entity and is written by the same people who wrote Spines. It’s available to listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podchaser, and their website, to name a few.”
“I guess I’ll go next, Myra, since we’re related,” said Spencer.
“Only by creator,” muttered Liz.
“Semantics. Stop being a party pooper because you’re bored. Anyway, hi, I’m Spencer, or better known as Spines. It follows a woman searching for answers after she wakes up in an attic with no memories and only the remains of a cultish ritual around her. And because Myra and I are related, Spines is available on the same streaming services: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podchaser, and their website!” Spencer grinned, flipping their newspaper over to the comics.
“Liz?” Magnus asked, gesturing to Whit. Liz dropped her book with a dramatic sigh and crossed her arms.
“Fine, fine. Full name is The Wicked Library. It’s a biweekly podcast that reads short horror stories. It’s similar to The NoSleep Podcast, if you’ve heard of that one. It’s a collaboration between independent creators, and has twelve seasons. It’s available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, iHeart, and their website.”
Liz stood and grabbed her book. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if NoSleep wants to share stories.”
The group watched Liz leave the library. Once she turned the corner, they let out a sigh. Myra noticed Whit’s confused expression.
“Ah yeah, I’m sure you’ve seen Magnus transform already. Liz has way more than them. So she ends up being a jerk sometimes. She’ll come back later once she’s relaxed a bit. Why don’t you stay here for a bit? Room’s not going anywhere. Is that alright with you, Magnus?” Myra asked, pushing up their glasses again.
Magnus nodded, patted Whit on the shoulder, and stalked off toward the fireplace that roared to life the second Magnus sat down in the chair before it.
Whit shrugged off his duffel bag and sat in the empty seat next to Spencer. He pulled out a radio and his toolkit and began fixing it. As he fiddled with parts that weren’t broken, the radio cut on.
It had no batteries, no power supply, yet the sound of a distress call that was all too familiar to him filled the silent library before cutting off and repeating again.